West German federal election, 1980

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German federal election, 1980
West Germany
1976 ←
5 October 1980 (1980-10-05)
→ 1983

All 519 seats in the Bundestag
260 seats were needed for a majority
  First party Second party Third party
  Franz Josef Strauß 1982.jpg Bundesarchiv Bild Helmut Schmidt 1975 cropped.jpg Bundesarchiv FDP-Bundesparteitag, Genscher.jpg
Leader Franz-Josef Strauss Helmut Schmidt Hans-Dietrich Genscher
Party CDU/CSU SPD FDP
Leader since 1961 (CSU only) – (chancellor since 1974) 1974
Last election 254 seats 224 seats 40
Seats won 237 228 54
Seat change Decrease17 Increase4 Increase14
Popular vote 16,897,659 16,260,677 4,030,999
Percentage 44.5% 42.9% 10.6%
Swing Decrease4.1% Increase0.3% Increase2.7%

Chancellor before election

Helmut Schmidt
SPD

Elected Chancellor

Helmut Schmidt
SPD

Coat of arms of Germany.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
Germany
Foreign relations

Federal elections were held in West Germany on 5 October 1980, to elect members to the Bundestag (parliament) of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Issues and Campaign[edit]

Chancellor Helmut Schmidt of the SPD-FDP coalition wanted to be re-elected. CDU/CSU tried to make their candidate the elected Chancellor, CSU leader Franz Josef Strauß. It was the first time that their candidate was from the CSU. Strauß, immensely popular in Bavaria, found it difficult to appeal to people in other parts of Germany. One important reason for Strauss's unpopularity compared to Federal Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, was his tendency to talk sharply and militantly about his political opponents. Schmidt, by contrast, was still seen by many West German voters as a moderate and practical manager and doer, who focused on getting concrete political and economic results more than on political rhetoric (see, for example, Erling Bjöl, Grimberg's History of the Nations, volume 22: From Peace to the Cold War, Helsinki: WSOY, 1984, pages 495, 497–499; Bjöl, Grimberg's History of the Nations, volume 23: The Rich West, Helsinki: WSOY, 1985, pages 353–356; Dennis L. Bark and David R. Gress, A History of West Germany: Volume 2: Democracy and Its Discontents, 1963–1988, "The Era of Macher [Doer]," London, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1989).

Results[edit]

e • d Summary of the 5 October 1980 German Bundestag election results
Parties Constituency Party list Total seats
Votes  % +/− Seats +/− Votes  % +/− Seats +/− Seats +/−  %
Social Democratic Party (SPD) 16,808,861 44.5 +0.8 127 +13 16,260,677 42.9 +0.3 91 −9 228 +4 43.9
Christian Democratic Union (CDU) 13,467,207 35.6 −2.7 81 −13 12,989,200 34.2 −3.8 93 −3 185 −16 35.6
Free Democratic Party (FDP) 2,720,480 7.2 +0.8 0 ±0 4,030,999 10.6 +2.7 53 +14 54 +14 10.4
Christian Social Union (CSU) 3,941,365 10.4 −0.2 40 ±0 3,908,459 10.3 −0.3 12 −1 52 −1 10.0
The Greens 732,619 1.0 +1.0 0 ±0 569,589 1.5 +1.5 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
German Communist Party (DKP) 107,158 0.3 −0.2 0 ±0 71,600 0.2 −0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
National Democratic Party (NPD) 68,096 0.2 −0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Citizens' Party 507 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 11,256 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
People's Front Against Reaction, Fascism and War (V) 7,160 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 9,319 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Communist League of West Germany (KBW) 12,008 0.0 −0.1 0 ±0 8,174 0.0 −0.1 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
European Workers' Party (EAP) 4,992 0.0 ±0 0 ±0 7,666 0.0 ±0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Christian Bavarian People's Party (CBV) 3,946 0.0 ±0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
DU 421 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Independent Workers' Party (UAP) 159 0.0 ±0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
DFP 96 0.0 +0.0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Electoral groups and independents 3,498 0.0 ±0 0 ±0 0 ±0 0
Invalid/blank votes 485,645 353,115
Totals 38,292,176 100 ±0.0 248 ±0 38,292,176 100 ±0.0 249 +1 519 +1 ±0
Registered voters/turnout 43,231,741 88.6 43,231,741 88.6
Source: Federal Returning Officer
^† — includes the non-voting delegates for West Berlin (11 CDU, 10 SPD, 1 FDP).


Popular Vote
CDU/CSU
  
44.54%
SPD
  
42.86%
F.D.P.
  
10.62%
GRÜNE
  
1.50%
Other
  
0.47%
Bundestag seats
CDU/CSU
  
45.47%
SPD
  
43.86%
F.D.P.
  
10.66%
Seat results – SPD in red, FDP in yellow, CDU/CSU in black

Post-election[edit]

The coalition between the SPD and the FDP returned to government, with Helmut Schmidt as Chancellor. In 1982, the FDP quit the government, which led to the government's collapse and replacement with a new CDU/CSU – FDP coalition under Helmut Kohl.

Sources[edit]